Category Archives: Local News

County still has SC’s highest rate of incidence

COLUMBIA — South Carolina officials have reported four new COVID-19 deaths in Pickens County over the past week.

In addition to three elderly deaths, one middle-aged county resident died of the virus this week.

Pickens County continues to trend in the wrong direction in transmission rate, with the 14th-highest rate of South Carolina’s 46 counties. A two-spot drop from last week, the county currently sits at 4,147.09 cases per 100,000 residents

Meanwhile, the county is the state’s worst in the two-week

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Graduation rate hits new record

COUNTY — The School District of Pickens County had a new record-high graduation rate in 2020, the eighth consecutive year the district’s rate has gone up.

Although some assessments were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the district’s four-year, on-time graduation was 87.7 percent, significantly above the state average of 82.1 percent.

“Our journey from 66.7 percent to 87.7 percent has created a new environment in our county, which will continue to transform the lives of the customers we

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Liberty school has 76 students quarantined

COUNTY — More than 10 percent of the students at Liberty Primary School were quarantined as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 last week, according to the School District of Pickens County.

In its weekly update, the district said five staff members and 76 students at the school were quarantined, though only one staff member and one student tested positive for the virus, with one of those attending school.

According to its website, Liberty Primary has an enrollment of

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


DHEC issues holiday travel, safety advice

COLUMBIA — The state health department is encouraging small gatherings for Thanksgiving celebrations and the use of video technology for larger celebrations.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging South Carolinians to limit activities in the two weeks leading up to any holiday gatherings to reduce any risk of spreading COVID-19.

“Thanksgiving is an important time for family and friends to celebrate and reconnect, especially

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Legion, Robinson’s to honor fallen veterans

EASLEY — Easley American Legion Post 52, along with Robinson’s Memorial Gardens on Powdersville Road, will be paying honor to fallen veterans at 10 a.m. Dec. 19.

As part of a national program, a wreath will be placed on every veteran’s grave in the veterans section of the cemetery. Special speaker will be retired Army Col. Jarrel Alexander of Pickens.

The public is welcome to attend the event.

Wreaths Across America is a program to enable designated cemeteries across America to place wreaths on individual graves as at Arlington National Cemetery. There is a fundraising program to help in the effort. A donation of $15 will help cover expenses.

Anyone wishing to donate to the project may make donations to “Wreaths Across America,” American Legion Post 52, 118A Legion Street, Easley, SC 29642 or call (864) 230-4765.


Thanksgiving coming early to Pickens area

PICKENS — Ready for a Thanksgiving feast before the big day? Look no further than the Pickens Christian School fundraiser.

On Friday, the school will host a Thanksgiving dinner a week early to raise funds. The event will feature some of the most delicious smoked turkey you will ever put in your mouth and will also include the fixings and fixtures of Turkey Day. The feast will also feature fresh apple fritters that will be made onsite by Yoder’s at Meece Mill.

The event will take place at the Pickens Mennonite Church at 558 Gravely Road in Pickens from 4-7 p.m. All plates are sold by donation only, with all the proceeds going to Pickens Christian School.

The menu planned will be smoked turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry salad and homemade pumpkin pie.

As an added bonus, local residents can also order their own smoked turkey for a family Thanksgiving dinner. The church is taking orders for whole smoked turkeys. To get a turkey, preorder by calling Ryan Strite at (601) 513-1933. Turkeys will be ready for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at the Pickens Mennonite Church. All orders must be in by Thursday, Nov. 19. All turkeys are sold by donations.

Courier Community Calendar 11-18-20

• Delegation plans meeting Thursday

The Pickens County Legislative Delegation will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, on the steps of the Pickens County Courthouse.

The purpose of the meeting is to administer the oath of office and election of officers for the next legislative term. Judge Perry Gravely will perform the swearing-in of the delegation members.

The courthouse is located at 214 E. Main St. in Pickens.

Call the delegation office at (864) 850-7070 with any questions.

• Christmas events set in Dacusville

Dacusville will soon be getting into the Christmas spirit with the annual Christmas tree lighting event and Christmas parade in December. The tree lighting event will be held at 7 p.m Dec. 11 at the old Dacusville school on Earls Bridge Road. The annual Christmas parade will be the next day on Saturday, Dec. 12, beginning at 2 p.m. For more information on participating in the parade, call David Norton at (864) 855-2920 or Randy Williams at (864) 270-1599.

• Liberty Christmas Parade set for Dec. 5

The city of Liberty will be holding its annual Christmas Parade on Dec 5.

The theme of this year’s Christmas parade will be “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

This year, due to a required approval of a large event to comply with state COVID-19 guidelines, the city’s Christmas tree lighting will be held the same day prior to the parade on Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 6 p.m., with the parade following at 6:30 p.m. As a result of this change, and in order to be in compliance with state requirements, there will not be any visits or pictures with Santa hosted by the city this year.

Santa will, however, be in attendance in the Christmas parade as usual.

Due to COVID-19 requirements from the South Carolina Department of Commerce and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, approved events in excess of 250 attendees require appropriate group social distancing and masks. The Liberty Christmas parade is an approved S.C. Department of Commerce event.

For more information about parade entries, contact Jan Petersen at

• Organizations team up for donation drive

The Steppin’ It Up Coalition and Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County are partnering for a “Helping Hands Drive.” Donations of non-perishable food items, personal care items and new/gently used blankets or coats will be accepted and can be dropped off at 303 E. Main St. in Pickens, next to the Burning Brick.

The two organizations realize that 2020 has been a hard year for a lot of folks and want to help in any way they can.

Donations will be given out at a drive-thru Helping Hands drive right before Christmas.

Contact Jessica Gibson at (864) 898-5800 or with any questions. Learn more about the coalition at


Roper: Virus in county has ‘never been worse’

COUNTY — Pickens County reached “a high water mark” of nearly 700 active COVID-19 cases last week, county administrator Ken Roper said.

Roper discussed the county’s COVID numbers during a Facebook Live video update posted Friday.

“The truth of the matter is, ladies and gentlemen, that our COVID situation has actually never been worse in Pickens County than it is

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Pickens man, 1 other killed in shooting

SENECA — A 20-year-old Pickens man was one of two people killed in a shooting Sunday night in Seneca.

The shooting was reported just before 7 p.m., according to a news release from Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis. Addis said Christopher Hunter Todd of Pickens died at the scene on Tribble

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Murder suspect extradited in Six Mile death

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

SIX MILE — A 29-year-old man charged with murder in the shooting death of a man found on the side of a road in Six Mile last week has been extradited to Pickens County and is facing more charges.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chad Brooks said in a news release that detectives extradited Daniel Michael Watkins from Johnson County, Tenn., on Thursday.

Arrested Nov. 2 in Johnson County, Watkins is charged with

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login